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The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice's Adventures Through the ABCs & What She Found There Board book – June 20, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-Some books do not belong in board-book format and this wonderful volume is a prime example. The verses linked to each letter of the alphabet refer to elements in the beloved books by Lewis Carroll, but those books are well beyond the ken of board-book audiences. Here's a small sample of the sort of vocabulary Kontis uses in her text: "compliant," "deciphered," "guile," and "hindrance." While the verses and illustrations display sophisticated wit, it is not the sort of humor that sends two-year-olds into fits of giggles, and those who would enjoy the book won't touch it. Altogether, this is the sort of production to make us wonder, "What were they thinking?"-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"The writing is lyrical and reads like a forgotten fairy tale . . . The artwork is often stunning, with a texture and depth." The New York Times
Top customer reviews
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The illustrations and narrative really make it feel related to Carroll's & Tenniel's works.
The text may be slightly too sophisticated for a beginning independent reader, but I find it entertaining and delightful to read to my child. The small text is difficult to make out at times, especially when the words turn vertical or curl on the page (I read the book with my child in my lap and my arms outstretched, and have to pause and squint often). Also, the font color and placement seems not well planned at times. Some of the letters blend into the page, and I have to point and trace to make them seen.
A couple excerpts for you:
"H is for Humpty Dumpty. Humpty Dumpty on his wall, called for the king upon his fall. Then Humpty with his final breath, deciphered a poem and awaited his death."
"U is for Unbirthday. A merry unbirthday to Alice today. The Hatter and Hare made the date straight away. And yet, coincidentally, they're singing the same song to you and me."
As other reviewers pointed out, using the word knave for the letter K is odd, but all in all, I love the style in which the book was written, and appreciate the word choices to motivate a child's curiosity.
This book has been a refreshing find. Other Alice-themed board books out there are severely lacking content. One in particular has adorable illustrations, but practically no text, and no correlation to the stories.
The art is great and what made me pick this to start with.
It is definatly a collectors item and will go on me keeper shelf.
Further, while familiarity with the entire Alice world is certainly a plus in understanding and appreciating all of the alphabet entries, that's not essential to enjoying the book. Even if you don't really remember the Knave of Hearts, his entry, (under "K", which is an interesting choice for an alphabet book), is still amusing and engagingly drawn.
So, while this might be a bit of a challenge as an actual alphabet book, it is definitely a very attractive illustrated story book, and would be a great companion for an Alice book.
Please note that I received a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a frank review.